James Beard Foundation’s “Taste America” stops in Phoenix

Phoenix is on the map of the James Beard Foundation hot off the recent win by FnB’s Charleen Badman’s for “Best Chef: Southwest”. It’s also on the map for the foundations “Taste America” tour scheduled for September 19th- 21st. Phoenix is one of 20 cities chosen to host the event.

Tickets went on sale this week for the three day event for the cross country culinary experience.

Photos courtesy of Rose Moser Ally PR

Taste America events

The weekend kicks off on Thursday September 19th with the “Raising the Bar” walk around reception at Seventh and Union. Guests will meet rising star chefs and mixologists while sipping on cocktails and tasting culinary creations. Kyla Dahl of Pigtails Cocktail Bar, Henry Whittaker of Century Grand and Matt Steward of Undertow are a few of the mixologists pouring cocktails.

Dom Ruggiero of Hush Public House, Juan Zamora of Chula Seafood and Tamara Stanger of Cotton & Copper along with others will show off their culinary talents.

Friday night is the “Gala Benefit Dinner” at The Royal Palms Resort & Spa. The cocktail and tasting reception starts at 7 p.m. with tastes created by local chefs Stephen Jones of The Larder & Delta, Cat Bunnag of Glai Baan and others. Guests will then be treated to a three- course dinner menu created by visiting chef Tiffany Derry of Plano’s Roots Chicken Shack, local all-star Danielle Leoni of The Breadfruit & Rum Bar and host chef Alexander Robinson.

A dessert reception with Danielle O’Day of Sweet Dee’s Bakeshop and Hollie Layman-Sanders of The Royal Palms ends the night.

A silent and live auction will be held during the evening. A portion of the proceeds from dinner and auctions will go to the foundations scholarship programs.

The weekend concludes with the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Program, Owning It. The workshop will bring together 60 women who are in the idea or growth phase of a food related business. A few women will pitch local investors for funding for their project and all will learn how to advance in the culinary industry.

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The Arizona Seven chef collective re-unite for chef Kelly Fletcher

The local food and restaurant community can never be accused of not helping one its own or its local communities, whether it’s an unfortunate occurrence(fire, theft) or medical need of a staff member we always rally when we hear the cry.The cry went out for chef and all around good guy Kelly Fletcher(House of Tricks, El Chorro Lodge & Zen Culinary) and the medical expenses incurred when Kelly fell ill with a life-threatening infection that had him in the hospital for weeks and at rest back at home.

We heard the cry and jumped into action with 2 Fund Up meals cooked by the “Arizona Seven” chef collective at Crudo restaurant in coming weeks.

The 2 Fund Ups will feature chefs Keenan Bosworth (Pig & Pickle), Cullen Campbell (Crudo, Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails), Jacob Cutino (Homeboy’s Hot Sauce), Josh Hebert (Posh Improvisational Cuisine, Hot Noodles Cold Sake), Scott Holmes (Little Miss BBQ), Stephen Jones (The Larder + The Delta), Bernie Kantak (Citizen Public House, The Gladly) and Gio Osso (Nico, Virtù Honest Craft).

A pig for Kelly Fletcher

100% from both Fund Ups will be donated to pay the medical expenses with the 1st Fund Up taking place next Sunday June 4th for a Communal Pig Roast. Chef & host Cullen Campbell will be roasting a whole hog at his Crudo restaurant with the other 6 chefs will be preparing gourmet side dishes, sauces, desserts and more smoked meats.

Beer from local brewery Huss Brewing Co. will be poured along with wines & cocktails from The Whiny Pig and Tito’s Vodka. The family style roast starts at 2 p.m. and is $50++ per person.

Multi Course dinner

On Monday July 31st the Arizona Seven will re-unite at Crudo for a Multi- Course Dinner to help pay down Kelly’s medical expenses. The menu will be created by Kelly with the other chefs putting their unique twist on each of the courses. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. and is $150 ++ per person.

For tickets to the Arizona Seven Fund Ups go to http://7cheffundup.bpt.me/

Who are the Arizona Seven chef collective?

Chefs who own restaurants are friends more than competitors who wish all the best in the day-to-day operations of locally owned restaurant survival. To bring awareness of the local Phoenix food scene the Arizona Seven chef collection debuted in 2014 with events for all to collaborate in and showcase their talents outside of their restaurants. The goal is to bring the James Beard Award back to Arizona.

Crudo is at 3603 E. Indian School Rd. Phoenix 85018.

 

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